World No 3 Roger Federer reached the quarter-final of the Montreal Masters for the first time since 2009 after a battling 4-6 6-4 6-2 success over David Ferrer on Thursday.
Federer, 36, had never lost in 16 previous meetings with the 35-year-old Ferrer, who he first defeated 14 years ago at the Vienna Indoor tournament.
The Wimbledon champion’s overall record in 2017 is now 33-2 but he was far from his fluid best in an error-strewn display.
With Federer slowly improving his first serve as the match wore on, Ferrer was unable to carve out the break opportunities he had found in the first set.
He went on to lose his serve five times in total and could only convert three break points from 13 opportunities.
An early break in the decider put Federer in control as a weary Ferrer began to tire and a characteristically deft volley clinched the match.
Federer will next play against Roberto Bautista Agut, who overcame Gael Monfils in three sets, but he will be troubled by the 47 unforced errors he made against Ferrer.
Bautista Agut out-lasted Monfils 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/2) in just short of three hours while Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman recovered after failing to take a game in the opening set to beat USA’s Jared Donaldson 0-6 7-5 7-5.
World number 36 Schwartzman will play Holland’s Robin Haase who overcame Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/3) 4-6 6-1.
Follow the action on from 5.30pm and from 11pm on Thursday while we will have the Masters 1000 series in Montreal covered via our website
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